5G And The Future Of Mobile Gaming

There’s much
discussion about the potential impact of 5G on some fairly vital aspects of our
lives, culture, and economy. Remote healthcare and surgical procedures, self-driving
vehicles, new tools for small businesses, and home security are just a few of the
advances that are expected to come from the new, blazing fast wireless
networking technology.

Although not
as groundbreaking or critical as some these applications, another aspect of 5G
that has many people excited is its potential to change the face of mobile
gaming. With the always-connected, nearly zero-latency nature of 5G – along
with its significant increase in transfer speeds – the sophistication as well
as the types of games available on mobile platforms could be in for a major


In the early
days of the internet, multiplayer games were a rare luxury. Usually, players
had to gather at a common location and set up a temporary Local Area Network
(LAN) to have a fast, stable connection. Over the last decade, 4G speeds have made
multiplayer gaming over widespread geographical areas more practical, and
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) have thus exploded in
popularity, but have been mostly relegated to desktop computers, laptops, and
game consoles.

On mobile
devices, multiplayer games have become more common, but are limited by network
latency and other deficiencies. 5G is expected to solve many of the
connectivity issues that hamper multiplayer gaming, especially on mobile

Game Streaming

The current
paradigm in mobile app-based gaming is the free-to-play model. Free-to-play
games can be downloaded to the device and played with no initial cost to the
user. Developers make money by offering enhancements and in-app purchases. With
5G connectivity, however, game developers plan to introduce “streaming” game
platforms. Similar to Netflix, Hulu, and other video streaming applications,
subscription-based gaming will allow users to have instant access to a suite of


5G is
expected to help close the gap in performance and functionality between mobile
devices and more stationary platforms like PC’s and game consoles. This will
allow many applications, including games, to be more portable between devices
and platforms. Not only would this allow cross-platform multiplayer gaming, but
it will also allow users to play the same game on different devices. For
example, a user could save or pause a game they began on a PC and resume it on
their phone.


Due to the
low latency of 5G connectivity, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
should be more practical and more common in connected mobile devices across a
variety of applications. Games will be no exception. Mobile VR games are
expected to be more immersive at 5G bandwidths and AR will allow the
integration of the user’s environment into their gaming experience.

Computer and
other electronic games have long been a benchmark for processor and network
speeds since they typically require a great deal of computing resources. As we
learn more about the true capabilities of 5G, advancements in mobile gaming
will be an indication of its progress.

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